Look at it this way. If the pattern of the first two games of this series continues, the Cubs will at least take the Dodgers into extra innings Saturday night and will win on Sunday. (That’s silly, of course. Patterns like this rarely continue.)
Once again, the Cubs jumped out to a 2-0 first-inning lead Friday, and once again they stopped scoring at 3, while allowing the Dodgers five. Thus, a 5-3 loss was the result, their second straight in Los Angeles.
That first inning looked very good. Kris Bryant singled and Anthony Rizzo followed with what at first looked like a ground-rule double... but wait! [VIDEO]
At first glance it appeared the ball had been caught and dropped by Cody Bellinger, but replays clearly showed the ball over the wall and off the body of a Cubs fan. Bellinger had no idea where the ball was until it bounced back onto the field. The review crew made the right call, two-run homer, Rizzo’s 18th.
Kyle Hendricks got through the first inning with no trouble, but oh, no, that second inning. Max Muncy doubled with one out, and another out later, Matt Beaty hit a home run. Matt who? This was just his 18th big-league game, and first back from the injured list with a hip strain. His first big-league homer tied the game.
The Cubs took the lead right back in the top of the third, thanks to Kris Bryant [VIDEO].
That ball: Crushed!
You can also see in the video how upset Rich Hill was with the pitch he made to KB. Fun fact:
Tonight is the 24th time (22 regular season, 2 postseason) that Anthony Rizzo & Kris Bryant both homered in the same game (4 times this season) #Cubs— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 15, 2019
That lead lasted about five minutes. Justin Turner homered off Hendricks to tie the game in the bottom of the third. It was the first time since April 1 that Hendricks had allowed two home runs in a game.
The Dodgers took the lead in the fourth on an RBI single by Hill after Beaty had doubled. Hill entered this game with a .109 lifetime batting average and was 1-for-12 this year with seven strikeouts. Yikes. And after a single by Alex Verdugo and a hard-hit line out in the fifth, Hendricks was lifted. It was his shortest outing (4⅓ innings) since April 7. Kyle Ryan entered and allowed another hit, sending Verdugo to third, where he scored on what was probably a throw to the wrong base by Javier Baez [VIDEO].
That video is from the Dodgers broadcast; Len and JD made mention of the fact that Baez probably could have turned a double play to end the inning if he had simply thrown back to Rizzo at first. Willson Contreras seemed to hesitate a bit before trying to tag Verdugo, and Verdugo slid in safely, making it 5-3.
Just as happened Thursday night, the Cubs had few chances from then on. David Bote doubled with one out in the seventh but was stranded. Bryant singled leading off the eighth but went no further. And Jason Heyward reached on an error with one out in the ninth, but Kenley Jansen struck out Bote and Victor Caratini to end it.
The Cubs pen shows up in the boxscore as having thrown 3⅔ scoreless innings, but they weren’t great. L.A.’s fifth run scored while Ryan was in the game, and Mike Montgomery walked the bases loaded with two out in the seventh before getting out of it on this nice catch by Albert Almora Jr. [VIDEO]
Almora seemed a bit shaken up after running into the wall on that play and was removed from the game. Fortunately, it seems as if nothing serious is wrong:
Maddon said Albert Almora Jr. is fine. Pulled as a precaution after being banged up on the catch at the wall.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 15, 2019
And regarding all those walks, and other ball and strike calls made by CB Bucknor Friday night:
Maddon, on the strike zone that both the Cubs and Dodgers dealt with Friday: "Unfortunately, whenever that fellow works, everybody expects that in advance. It's hard to argue, because it's equally offensive to both sides."— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 15, 2019
Those are pretty strong words from a manager about an umpire. They happen to be true, at least in my opinion. Lastly, from Joe about the Cubs’ inability to score in the later innings in this series:
Maddon, on lineup: "We have to continue to churn out runs game in progress. I think we lose patience during the game. I've talked about that. I think we have to maintain our patience."— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) June 15, 2019
Last two games, Cubs have six runs in Innings 1-3 and zero runs in Innings 4-9.
Joe is, of course, correct. One last weird fact about this game:
#Cubs are improbably 1-3 this season when Rizzo & Bryant both homer.— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) June 15, 2019
They’ll take on the Dodgers again Saturday evening, and this game features Yu Darvish’s first appearance at Dodger Stadium since he left the Dodgers as a free agent following the 2017 season. L.A. will send Walker Buehler to the mound. Game time is an hour earlier (Fortunately! These late nights are tough!), 8:10 p.m. CT, and TV coverage Saturday will be via ABC7 Chicago.